DALLAS - Friday was the official start of the 2023 BMW Dallas Marathon Festival, the largest marathon in Dallas and the longest running marathon in the entire state of Texas. It's a weekend full of events including the marathon, half marathon, relays and even kids' races.
Participants filed into the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas where they were picking up their race packets and gearing up for the weekend at the BMW Dallas Marathon Health And Fitness Expo.
At least 27,000 people will be participating in events on courses that travel throughout the city of Dallas over the next three days. And there's some changes this year. To make the festival more accessible to more people they've added a 5K and half marathon walking option —it will be the same course runners get to experience but walker-friendly.
Many of the participants at the expo said they're not running or walking alone, they're teaming up with family members and friends to make it across that finish line together.
"I'm actually running the 5K with my sister in law's sisters, they're right here and then my parents are also doing the 5K and then a couple of friends we're all just doing it as a group together," said Shehzad Virani.
"I'm doing the 5K with a bunch of friends two of them I recruited to just run 5Ks all year with me but then I saw there was a 5K team option I was like hey camaraderie amongst men," said Phillip Roberts.
This entire weekend is benefiting a great cause, Scottish Rite for Children. Since 1997 the festival has donated more than $4 million to Scottish Rite.
If you missed a chance to check out the Health and Fitness expo on Friday there's still time to visit, the Expo is open to everyone, not just marathon participants on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
for more features.